Fare increases and service cuts are on the table as Metro grapples with a projected $175 million budget gap for the next fiscal year.
Metro Chief Financial Officer Carol Kissal briefed board members on the budget picture Thursday.
Possible service cuts include pushing back the time the subway opens in the morning, increasing the intervals between trains and buses, and closing some stations or station entrances during slow periods.
Peter Benjamin, who chairs the Metro board's finance committee, said the agency will do everything possible to avoid raising fares or cutting service.
Metro's bottom line has been suffering from fewer riders than expected this year. The agency blames high unemployment for the decrease in ridership.
As of yet, Metro does not know how big a budget deficit they may face. The transit agency also faces financial uncertainty resulting from the crash that killed nine people in June. The National Transportation Safety Board investigating the cause of the accident may order system-wide safety improvements.
Metro plans to approve a budget by June, which is when any fare hikes or reduction in services would go into effect.